Enid, Oklahoma – In the Region 2 Semi-Final, the Rich Mountain Bucks (7-3-4 overall; 4-2-4) faced the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Norsemen (10-5-2 overall; 6-2-2) at D. Bruce Selby Stadium. The winner would move on to the Region 2 Finals on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm against Rose State College. In the previous matches during the season, the Bucks beat NEO 2-1 on September 11th and tied on Tuesday of this week at Bearcat Stadium, 0-0.
The first half was all about momentum swings and counters as both team split possession time. The Bucks played on the defensive end of their field for the first 12 minutes, and NEO was able to fire 4 shots. The Bucks would tally a shot of their own after a NEO foul. The unsuccessful opportunity for the Bucks gave NEO the opportunity to counter, and the Norsemen were able to get a corner kick and 2 more attempts at the goal. After 17 minutes of playing on their heels, the Bucks would take control and maintain possession until the last 10 minutes of the half. The Bucks would get 2 corner kicks and 9 shots with 3 being on frame. NEO countered in the final 10 minutes, but the Bucks defense remained tough to leave the score knotted at 0-0.
The second half and overtimes would be much of the same as both team would trade possessions, shots, and corner kicks. At the end of 90 minutes, both teams would still remain scoreless. Going into overtime, the Bucks felt confident after having 5 previous overtimes during the season. Early in two overtimes, the Bucks would get a great look at the goal, but the shot would be wide left. NEO would maintain possession for the remainder of the first overtime periods. The second overtime saw the Bucks get 2 looks at the goal but were unsuccessful. So, for the first time of the season, the Bucks were going to penalty kicks to decide the match.
The Bucks and Golden Norsemen would trade penalty kicks until a winner would be decided. Caleb Summerfield led off for the Bucks and was successful, as was #23 Alex Pike for NEO. Up next, Rodrigo de Castro would connect on his penalty kick. NEO's #17 Cameron Eaves found the back of the net for the Golden Norsemen to tie the match at 2-2. Next for the Bucks was Maurice Theart. Theart took most of the Bucks penalty kicks in the season and was again successful to give the Bucks the lead. Golden Norsemen #27 Jayden Perry was unsuccessful by hitting the cross bar and opened the door for a Bucks victory. Marcos Pires and #25 Alex Frances would both find the back of the net. It all came down to the foot of Cesar Requena to seal the Bucks' victory. Requena did just that! The Bucks would win in penalty kicks, 5-3, to advance to the Region 2 Championship.
The Bucks will face the Rose State College Raiders at 1 pm at D. Bruce Selby Stadium in Enid, Oklahoma on Sunday. The match can be watched on Youtube (Enid High School).